In order to make it presence felt in China, the leading Hollywood studio Warner Bros is tying up with the Chinese investment firm China Media Capital (CMC) in order to produce more Chinese language films. After venturing into another huge Asian film market, India, the studio is eyeing the Chinese film industry in order to facilitate more collaboration between Hollywood and Chinese makers. This can also be deemed as the studio’s desperate attempt to take advantage of China’s fast growing box office.
It is evident that in recent times Chinese films are leaving quite a mark in the Hollywood dominated world and the studio sees a great opportunity there. The joint venture, Flagship Entertainment Group Ltd, is being launched ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s official visit to the United States next week and underscores the growing influence of Chinese movies around the world.
The Chinese box office takings, standing at around 5 Billion dollars in the present year, are expected to reach the mark of around 8.9 Billion USD by the end of the year 2019. So, no doubt the opportunities are there, some huge ones, but the biggest problems lying ahead in front of the studios are the ones related to the censorship and a very strict and unfair quota system for the imported films.
Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based principal of China Market Research Group said that, “The truth is that most of the Hollywood studios are looking to venture into the Chinese market for quite some time now and they are all looking somehow to find a crack in the wall to get a better access to the market.” He further added that this even facilitates the opening up of the channels to Chinese funding and facilities.
Other than Warner Bros, other big studios have also collaborated with the Chinese films in one way or the other; Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Lions Gate Entertainment and Walt Disney Company all are trying to make their connections.
The films certified as co-productions are excluded from the Chinese rule where only 34 foreign films per year are allowed to be shown in the Chinese theatres and the collaborations will also provide some sort of relief from the very strict Chinese censor board. It’s a win-win situation for the both parties.
“The country’s incredibly rich history and culture provide a huge trove of great stories, and we want to help tell those stories for new generations of filmgoers, in China and around the world,” Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros said in a statement while he cheerfully announced the venture.